Affiong Williams, the CEO of ReelFruit – a Nigeria-based dried fruit snacks producer – believes now it is the ideal time for Nigerian food and agriculture companies to export, given the country’s current economic challenges.
The West African country is grappling with several economic headwinds due to a strong US dollar, worldwide inflation, and domestic policy shifts. On 16 January, the naira reached a record low of 1,305 to the dollar in the parallel market. Further intensifying consumer concerns, Nigeria’s inflation rate surged to 28.92% in December, its highest in 27 years.
“Many Nigerian companies have input costs in dollars either directly or indirectly. So, the inflationary impact of the devaluing naira is hedged when you [export and] earn dollars,” says Williams. She also mentions that a weak naira makes ReelFruit’s products more competitive on overseas shelves.
Given the strain of domestic inflation on the spending power of Nigerians, Williams underscores the importance of targeting markets with greater disposable incomes. Even capturing a modest portion of a dollar-paying market can assist businesses in navigating Nigeria’s tough economic climate.
Read our full interview with Affiong Williams: Feeding the Nigerian diaspora in America – A prime agribusiness opportunity